Monday 18 May 2020
Here is our summary of the day's hottest RNS alerts from across London's Alternative Investments Market (AIM).
Open Ophan Plc (ORPH.LSE)
Update on antibody test agreement and recent share price movement
Open Orphan plc (ORPH) the rapidly growing specialist CRO pharmaceutical services company which has a focus on orphan drugs and is the world leader in the testing of vaccines and antivirals using human challenge study models, noted the increase in the Company's share price and media comment regarding its collaboration with Quotient Limited. Furthermore, it also notes the substantial increase in interest in antibody testing for Covid-19 following recent announcements by the UK Government.
The Company confirms that the MosaiQ COVID-19 Antibody Microarray machine is on site at hVivo's laboratory in East London and is undergoing testing. It is expected to be fully operational within two weeks following which it will have capability to undertake up to 3,000 tests a day, in line with expected performance as stated by Quotient Limited. The Company intends to enter into discussions with channel partners to secure testing volumes with pricing to be determined as part of these negotiations. It is not the company's intention to deal directly with consumers and while there can be no certainty on pricing until such time as terms are agreed, the Company notes current market prices ranging from c.£70 for home testing kits and upwards towards c.£150. It is the intention to supply testing capability to channel partners, who will in turn deal with the end users and the final price points. The Company will update shareholders in due course.
Brave Bison Group Plc (BBSN.LSE)
Brave Bison announces four global YouTube deals
Brave Bison, the social video company, announced four new clients that have entered the agency's YouTube community: World Dodgeball Federation; IMVBox; Media Star Maker; and ViralPress. The partnerships created are based on Brave Bison's proven success within a wide range of categories and are expected to strengthen the company's overall portfolio.
The World Dodgeball Federation (WDBF), the niche sporting association, has joined Brave Bison's existing roster of sports channels, which includes World Chase Tag, a challenger niche sport that experienced viral success with the help of Brave Bison. Since joining the platform, WDBF has seen subscribers grow by 10% to 64,000 and viewership increase by 3 million views.
Duane Wysynski, President of WDBF, says:
"At just 30 days into our partnership with Brave Bison, we are seeing excellent results. The Brave Bison team has done a great job in laying the foundation for our channel and is helping to ensure that our content is appealing, relevant and reaching our target audience."
IMVBox, the online distribution platform known as the home of Iranian movies has also enlisted Brave Bison's expertise in content strategy and channel growth capabilities. IMVBox is the latest addition to Brave Bison's growing list of international content providers including Sodere, the largest source of Ethiopian movies, dramas, sitcoms and music clips. Since January 2020, Brave Bison has not only developed IMVBox's YouTube strategy, it has created four new channels from the ground up that have generated a combined 18 million views.
Media Star Maker, a media production company that serves creators around the world, primarily in the Middle East and North Africa is another company that has partnered with Brave Bison to build its social media presence and content strategy. Media Star Maker will be bringing its extensive network of the biggest Arabic-language influencers to the table, while Brave Bison, as a preferred partner of YouTube and with 14 years of experience growing channels on the platform, will be providing the technical and digital support required.
Mina Mikhael, Sales and Marketing Director of Media Star Maker, comments:
"Our partnership with Brave Bison bridges the gap between the East and the West. We are confident that with the help of Brave Bison, we will be able to revolutionize the industry together."
The final addition to Brave Bison's YouTube community is ViralPress, a news agency based in Asia that specialises in licensing video and User Generated Content (UGC). Having worked with similar companies, like NewsFlare, which brings together contributors from all over the world and tells their stories to a global audience, Brave Bison was a natural fit for ViralPress given its expertise in channel management, content strategy and asset management experience.
Kate Burns, CEO of Brave Bison, notes:
"Brave Bison is a brand leader in YouTube channel management. We work with some of the biggest organisations and rights holders in the world, as well as with niche verticals, the under-served sectors that have highly engaged and loyal audiences. We provide our expertise to partners of all sizes and will continue to do so, although our future focus will be more keenly concentrated on those smaller groups of engaged audiences who are consuming the content they love across a diverse range of sectors."
"We enable these channels to grow and many of these IP owners come to Brave Bison because we can take them to the next level - increasing brand awareness as well as their following, engagement and, ultimately, revenue."
OptiBiotix Health (OPTI.LSE)
Trading and commercial update
OptiBiotix Health plc, a life sciences business developing compounds to tackle obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes,provides the following unaudited preliminary revenue figures for the first three months of the financial year and a commercial update.
The Company announced that it had changed its financial year end from 30 November to 31 December (RNS: 23 March 2020). This update reports on the first three months of this financial year to the last full week in March 2020 (ending 3 April 2020). These figures are unaudited and based on invoiced sales from weekly divisional sales reports. They are provided to give investors an insight into the commercial progress of the Company in the current financial year and may differ from final audited results.
Total invoiced sales of LPLDL® and SlimBiome® as ingredient or final product were £407,844 representing a 928% increase for the same period last year (£39,645). This does not include approximately £60,000 worth of LPLDL® which was invoiced and part paid in 2019 which under IFRS 15, a new international reporting standard, may have to be accounted for in this year's results as delivery did not take place until 2020.
The Company also received proceeds of £162,500 of investment income in this period from the disposal of shares in SkinBioTherapeutics plc which is not included in these figures.
There is little contribution in this period from license or royalty payments which historically tend to be received in the second half of the year.
We are pleased that these preliminary revenue figures show that divisions are making progress against their aim of being profitable this year with the Functional Fibres division led by Dr Fred Narbel reporting a profit during this period. Each division now reports weekly invoiced sales and a sales prospect pipeline which provides a real time assessment of commercial progress. Progress is variable across each division and we will be working with all divisions to support them in the aim of each division reaching profitability this year.
Investors are cautioned that at this stage of a company's development, both costs and income can vary widely month to month and the Company is not yet at a stage where it believes quarterly or half yearly income figures can be extrapolated to full year results.
OptiBiotix has signed nine commercial agreements in this period, with a further four deals in the subsequent months, making a total of 13 agreements for the year to date. These include nine for SlimBiome® and four for LPLDL®. These agreements aim to extend the Company's geographic reach into 119 countries. The Company now has 40 of its 62 deals delivering revenues with 70% of deals expected to deliver revenues in the first year of agreement, compared to 35% in 2019, and 33% in 2018.
The large number of agreements signed with multiple partners, across multiple application areas and geographies, is designed to maximise the income potential of each product, whilst limiting the risk related to any individual deal, product, or geography. The strategic aim is to grow the awareness of our brands around the world. Growing brand awareness increases commercial interest in our product and changes the nature of partner discussions as the technology and product benefits are established. This is leading to shorter partner discussions, interest from larger partners (as shown by deals with Agropur, Optipharm, Holland & Barrett) and a greater percentage of deals expected to deliver revenues in the first year of signing an agreement. The strategy is supported by presentations and publications at international conferences and our products being nominated for and winning industry awards.
As we move through 2020, we will continue to build commercial momentum and extend our reach into new application areas (e.g. hypertension, vascular health) and extend the use of LPLDL® and SlimBiome® into more products. We were particularly pleased to see LPLDL® introduced into dairy with Granja Pocha (RNS: 12 February 2020) and to discover one of our partners, Bened Biomedical, using LPLDL® in an anti-aging product. The launch of SlimBiome® into everyday foods like muesli and porridge and the development of healthy snacks like our fruit and fibre gummies under the SnackSmart brand is another exciting innovation. This is the first of a new healthy snacking range which taps into a global trend for healthy snacking, a market expected to reach $32.8 billion by 2025 (Grand View research, 2019).
We will continue to enter new territories, develop new application opportunities, and importantly support existing partners like Agropur, AlfaSigma, Akums, and more recent partners like Maxum and Pierce Asia in the commercialisation of products in their home territories. We believe this strategy will continue to generate industry interest, create a pipeline of new opportunities across all our platforms, build revenues, and support our aim of divisions reaching profitability in 2020.